April 8, 2015
Congressman Jerrold Nadler
Nadler for Congress
131 Varick Street, Suite 1017
New York, NY 10014
Dear Congressman Nadler,
As leaders and activists in the LGBT Jewish community, we write this letter to thank you for your years of dedicated service on issues of concern to both the LGBT and Jewish communities, and to let you know that we stand with you as you face re-election this year. We are ourselves either residents of the 10th Congressional District , or we have played leadership roles in organizations or efforts that serve or represent considerable numbers of your constituents. New York’s 10th Congressional District, as you well know, is the home to the largest number of members of the Jewish community, and likely the largest number of members of the LGBT community in any Congressional District in the country. As such, it is critical that we have a true champion to represent us in Washington, and you have been that champion.
Your record and years of leadership on LGBT issues are unmatched by anyone else serving in Congress today. Before it was remotely fashionable to support LGBT equality, while you were in the NYS Assembly, you sponsored critical bills banning discrimination against AIDS patients in funeral home care and price-gouging on AIDS drugs. Once in Congress, your comprehensive bill to fight AIDS, the AIDS Cure Act, led you to receive the first-ever political endorsement of an Act Up chapter. Since then, you have been an original sponsor of every major pieces of LGBT rights legislation, and personally authored the landmark Uniting American Families Act (for same-sex, permanent partner immigration rights) and the Respect for Marriage Act (to repeal DOMA), and the Father Mychal Judge Act (the first ever law to knowingly grant a federal benefit to a gay partner). You have used your leadership as a Founding Member and Vice Chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus, and a top member of the House Judiciary Committee, to help craft and lead key strategies to beat back the Federal Marriage Amendment and other hateful anti-gay legislative efforts. You won the first-ever LGBT-related appropriation not earmarked for the fight against AIDS -- for the NY LGBT Center. You authored and led the congressional amicus briefs in the key marriage-equality related cases that were heard by the Supreme Court, -- Windsor and Obergefell. And, as in the many other ways in which you've stood up for us that are too numerous to recount, you were one of only a handful of pro-LGBT members to vote against the Employment Nondiscrimination Act because it wasn't trans-inclusive.
Similarly, on issues of concern to the Jewish community, you have of course also been a key Congressional champion. You have been a life-long, deeply committed supporter of a safe, secure and democratic Israel, at peace with its neighbors. You have also been an unwavering advocate for realizing the vision of two states for two peoples through direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. You have always been a clarion voice in the domestic and global fight against anti-Semitism--most recently authoring a key House-passed resolution on it--and have spearheaded smart, effective strategies to challenge the global movement to delegitimize Israel. And you have been the House's chief defender of the Constitution, and in particular the twin First Amendment clauses protecting church-state separation and individual religious liberties, both of which have been critical shields in the protection of the Jewish community and other minority religions' interest throughout American history. Your landmark Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act , for instance, has been key to ensuring that synagogues and yeshivas are able to be built and to expand in communities where zoning laws have been abused to stifle religious freedom.
Finally and more generally, your overall record of effective, progressive leadership on so many matters of concern to us as New Yorkers – in particular in the areas of economic and social justice, but also in other areas of your expertise, like transportation policy -- makes you a truly superb representative of our communities and for this district.
Because of your profoundly impressive record of achievement and service, we are extremely proud to call you our Congressman. We look forward to your continued service and we stand ready to join you in the many important fights you will lead in Congress in the future.
Organizational affiliations are for identification purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement by the organization
Feminist / LGBTQ Activist
Past President & Founding Member, Stonewall Democrats of New York City
President, Retail, Wholesale Department Store Union (RWDSU)
Jared Arader, Esq.
Director of Programs, Mechon Hadar
LGBTQ Advocate & Former Executive Director, Family Equality Council
Board Member, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah
Louis Cholden Brown
Vice President, Stonewall Democrats of New York City
Board Member, Keshet
Elizabeth B. Cooper
Associate Professor, Fordham University School of Law
Filmaker, Director of Trembling Before G-d
Former Executive Vice President, Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club of Queens
Member, Democratic National Committee
NYS Assembly Member Deborah J. Glick
Director, Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic Columbia Law School
Dr. Nate Goldstein
President, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah
NYS Senator Brad Hoylman and David Sigal
Roberta A. Kaplan
Partner, Paul Weiss Rifkin Wharton & Garrison & Lead Counsel, Windsor v. U.S.
Ryan Karben, Esq.
Co-President of Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn
Executive Director, Keshet
Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum
Congregation Beit Simchat Torah
Former President, Gay & Lesbian Independent Democrats
Yetta G. Kurland
Civil Rights Attorney
Co-Founder and Chair, NYS Democratic Committee Progressive Caucus & Former Chair, New York LGBT Center
Aubrey Lees, Esq.
Alex Halpern Levy
Vice President, SKDKnickerbocker & former LGBT Adviser to Senator Charles Schumer
Plaintiff, Ferguson v. JONAH
Founder, Hebro & LGBT Jewish Community Organizer
Vice President of External Affairs at National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce / Director of National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce NY (NGLCCNY)
Seth M. Marnin
Vice-President, Civil Rights Division, Anti-Defamation League
Noemi E. Masliah, Esq.
Co-Founder, Immigration Equality
Rabbi Jay Michaelson
Contributing Editor, the Jewish Daily Forward
Former President, Gay & Lesbian Independent Democrats
Co-Chair, Red Ribbon Initiative
President, Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club
The Vaid Group
Board Co-Chair, Empire State Pride Agenda
Rachel B. Tiven
Treasurer, Democratic National Committee
Alan van Capelle
Former Executive Director, Empire State Pride Agenda
ACT UP New York
President, Chelsea Reform Democratic Club
Founding Board Member, NYC AIDS Memorial
President, American Federation of Teachers
Plaintiff, Windsor v. U.S
Former President, Freedom to Marry
Former President, Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City
List in Formation